I am having another one of those weeks where every minute of every day is taken up by meetings. Those are the kinds of weeks that cause me to fall behind on my blog, because after I get home and spend a little time with my family, I am right back at the computer trying to catch up on the real work that happened during the day. I often wonder if life was a lot simpler before we became constantly connected. I wasn’t in the workforce for very long before the email boom hit, but I distinctly remember having to write memos when I needed to communicate something. I had to print them off, then send them off to different people. Mail was a big thing, you usually checked your mailbox at least a few times a day.
This was also before blogs existed, and the only way to look at beautiful food pictures was to read a magazine or a book. I remember spending hours sitting in a bookstore flipping through the pages of cook books – only wanting to buy ones with lots of pictures, although one of my favorites is still The Fanny Farmer Cookbook – which has no pictures what so ever. I got very good at imagining what things would look like. Occasionally I find recipes to make without any pictures – and I usually make the dish first, and then look online to see how mine compared.
I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, where there was a beautiful picture that made my mouth water. I love banana bread, so this just sounded heavenly. Well, I was right – this was pretty amazing, and the toffee sauce was so smooth and delicious – fortunately I had a lot leftover so I was able to enjoy it in yogurt for the rest of the week. This was definitely a special dessert, one in which I ate while typing away at my computer, trying to catch up on the days work. Wouldn’t it taste just a little better without the distraction of work? Well, let me just catch up on everything, and I will let you know…
- 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (or more) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 to 3)
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Sliced bananas (optional)
Bring 1 1/4 cups cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook at gentle boil until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Whisk in 3 tablespoons or more cream to thin sauce to desired consistency.
DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm slightly before using.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8x8x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Dust baking pan with flour, tapping out excess.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas, rum, and vanilla (batter may look curdled). Add dry ingredients in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 38 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup toffee sauce evenly over cake. Return cake to oven and bake until sauce is bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Cut around cake in pan. Cut cake into 9 squares or 12 rectangles. Serve cake slightly warm or at room temperature with toffee sauce and top with sliced bananas, if desired.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding